Anyone who’s seen Chevy’s “Most Awarded” commercial will realize that the world of automotive accolades is a crowded place. From Top Safety Picks to lists of the most popular sedans, best family cars, or lowest cost-of-ownership vehicles, we appreciate awards that are tailored for the consumer. One of the appeals of WardsAuto’s list of 10 best engines is how the judges administer their tests. Rather than taking dozens of cars out on a track or running countless 0-60-mph runs, the judges drive nominees in everyday situations. As a result, we’re greeted with a list of the 10 best engines for real life, rather than the 10 best engines for the next episode of “The Grand Tour.”
Over the past few decades, competing automakers in Europe and Asia have developed their own reputations for superiority. German cars have become synonymous with luxury and precision, while Italian cars deliver excitement and emotion. Sweden’s Volvos offer the best in safety, and England provides sumptuous style. Across the Pacific, the major Japanese automakers have built their reputation on reliability and longevity, while Kia and Hyundai of Korea now provide top-flight quality at great value. While foreign automakers tend to focus their approaches in ways that bear out these specific reputations, America remains a bastion of variety.
A few weeks ago, we looked at some cars with huge depreciation rates. We called depreciation an inevitability and wondered why anyone would decide to purchase a new car (unless they simply couldn’t resist that intoxicating “new car” smell). However, after a spell of deep contemplation and soul searching, we decided to do something crazy. We took the the reams upon reams of Excel spreadsheets on depreciation data stored securely in the CarGurus vault and turned them upside down.